The Chinese athlete had faced allegations of destroying a doping sample.
FINA’s doping panel acquitted him of wrongdoing on Jan. 3.
Gwadar port to boost Pakistan-Afghanistan trade: Afghan envoy
Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Atif Mashal on Friday said Pakistan’s decision to allow Afghan traders to import goods via the Gwadar port in southwestern Balochistan province will boost bilateral trade and transit ties between the two countries.
Mashal’s comments came following the arrival of a cargo ship, carrying 16,000 tons urea for transit to Afghanistan at the Gwadar port, according to China Overseas Port Holding Company which operates the Gwadar port, and Abdul Razak Dawood, advisor to Pakistani prime minister on commerce, textile, industry and production, and investment.
Pakistan last month announced to allow import of the Afghan bulk cargo of wheat, sugar and fertilizers at the Gwadar port and onward transit to Afghanistan in sealable trucks, instead of being limited to containers.
“For the first time, bagging will be done locally instead of foreign ports. Urea will be bagged and shipped on trucks to Afghanistan at Gwadar, which will generate employment for the locals. Instructions have already been passed to allocate all labor jobs to local population,” Dawood said on Twitter on Friday.
The Afghan ambassador welcomed Pakistan’s decision and appreciated efforts by the Pakistani advisor.
“This will certainly have a positive impact on Afghanistan-Pak trade and transit ties. We must extend support to each other for revival of commerce and connectivity in Central and South Asia that will surely benefit people in the region,” Mashal said in a tweet.
Pakistan announced in October last year to open the Gwadar port for the Afghan transit trade as the trade related infrastructure at the port was already to handle bulk cargoes to and from Afghanistan. The first ship carrying containers for Afghan transit trade arrived at the Gwadar port on Jan. 14, 2020.
Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan had signed a transit trade agreement in 1965 that was revised in 2010, which calls for better facilitation in the movement of goods between the two countries.
Afghan traders would previously use ports in Karachi, the commercial hub of Pakistan, for import under the transit trade agreement.
Kogi guber: Appeal Court returns Wada as PDP candidate
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Tuesday, affirmed Alhaji Musa Wada as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in the Nov. 16, 2019 gubernatorial election.
Delivering judgment in the appeal marked /193/2020 between Wada, Abubakar Mohammed, Ibrahim Idris and others, the court held that it was “crooked colt of discretion” for a court to raise an issue suo motu (raising issues that were not raised by any of the parties in the litigation) and determine same without hearing parties.”
The appellate court allowed the appeal filed by Wada and restored his nomination by PDP as valid, lawful and in compliance with relevant laws.
The three-man panel led by Justice Ibrahim Muhammad Saulawa also set aside every order made by the trial court to the effect that there was no primary election by PDP in the state and that the appellant was not a candidate in the election.
“Every order made by the trial high court that there was no primary election and that the appellant was not a candidate in the election is hereby set aside”, the court held.
Idris, also of the PDP had on Sept. 27, 2019, approached Kogi State High Court to challenge the outcome of the primary election conducted on September 3 and 4, 2019 in the state in which Engineer Musa Wada won, on the ground that he, Abubakar idris won the primary instead.
The court presiding over by Justice Roland O Olorunfemi, dismissed the claim and held that he did not substantiate his claim.
The judge proceeded also held that PDP did not have candidate in the last election in Kogi.
Aggrieved by the decision of the court, Engineer Wada filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal through his lawyer, Mr Jibrin Okutepa, SAN.
He challenged the judgment on the ground amongst others, that the trial judge did not have jurisprudence to grant reliefs not sought before him.
The Appeal Court however allowed the appeal which sought to prove that PDP presented a candidate in the last election in the state in the person of Wada.
Edited By: Constance Imasuen/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
WADA wrong to punish all Russian athletes for some individuals’ mistakes, President Putin says
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to remove Russia from international sports is inconsistent with common sense or law and bearing a political connotation.
Putin, speaking at an annual press conference on Thursday, said any punishment should be individual and that all Russian athletes should not be punished for the wrongdoings of some.
“As for the WADA decision, it does not correspond to common sense and law, and as for doping, the decision was made regarding the participation of our athletes under the neutral flag at the last Olympics, now for the same thing again.’’
He explained that the ban was “unfair to various Russian athletes who were not involved in the doping scandal’’, including those who competed in the Winter 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang under a neutral flag.
“If someone is caught doing something, then it is normal and fair to punish them. But if most of our athletes are clean, how can WADA sanction them for others’ actions?.’’
The president added that WADA’s ban went against the Olympic charter.
“A country’s team should not compete under a neutral flag if there are no factual claims against the current Olympic committee.’’
On Dec. 9, WADA unanimously voted to ban Russia from participating in and hosting any major sporting events.
It said it was a punishment for what it said were serious manipulations and deletions of data in athlete test results under WADA investigation.
WADA also ruled that only clean Russian athletes would be allowed to compete under a neutral status, without the Russian flag or anthem.
It added that Russian government officials and representatives would be banned from attending any major international sports events.
Additionally, WADA declared RUSADA non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code.
(Edited by: Hadiza Mohammed and Olawale Alabi)
Accept your defeat in good faith, Abdulmalik tells Wada, Akpoti
The Director-General of the Kogi State Bureau of Information and Grassroots Mobilisation, Alhaji Abdulkarim Abdulmalik, has called on Mr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to accept the outcome of the just-concluded governorship election in good faith.
Abdulmalik made the call in a statement issued in Lokoja on Monday.
He also made a similar appeal to Mrs Natadha Akpoti, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the election.
Abdulmalik urged them to accept the re- election of Gov Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress and see it as an act of God.
He urged them to join hands with Bello to move the state forward, especially after such “a divisive electioneering period”.
The Director-General also called on the people of the state to put behind them “all rhetorics of the election period and march towards a more prosperous Kogi State that the second time of Gov. Yahaya Adoza Bello would bring forth.”
He assured the people of the governor’s commitment to the Kogi project, adding that the rate of development to be witnessed in the next four years would be second to none.
Abdulmalik congratulated Bello and his deputy, Chief Edward Onoja on their victory at polls.
He said that the wide margin of victory was a testimony of their good prrformance in office in the past years.
” I call on the people of Kogi State to join hands with the governor to move the State to greater height.
” They should not allow themselves and their wards to be used as agents of destablisation as a result of the recent election,” he said.
Edited by Oluwole Sogunle
Kogi polls: Former Gov. Wada advocates electronic voting system to curb flaws
Former Governor Idris Wada of Kogi has called for adoption of electronic voting system with computerised data base to curb the nation’s flaws in electioneering processes, costs and security challenges.
Wada, who made the call while addressing newsmen after casting his vote at Odu Ward 4 Unit 001 on Saturday in Ogboyaga, said most of the nation’s electioneering challenges would be a thing of the past with electronic voting put in place.
He said that the electoral process needed to be organised in a way that there would be minimal human interface.
“We need to go into electronic voting, computerised data base and so on. So that people do not abuse the process.
“Because one of the major problems now is that even when you have orderly voting; when you go to the collation centre, thugs will intercept, shoot guns and change the results and it will not reflect the will of the people,” he said.
On his expectations from the polls, the former governor said, “My expectation is that PDP will win, the situation in our state is very clear to everybody. So, I believe that at the end of the day, PDP will win.
“The process looks quite orderly here in this polling unit but I have received calls and reports of various misconduct in various polling units.
“People are snatching ballot boxes, ballots papers, they broke into a Registration Area Center for ward 2 over night and they took away 7 boxes.
“It is a sad development in our democracy; people should follow an orderly process and allow people to perform their civic responsibility of voting for the candidate of their choice.
Wada said unless the unhealthy development of people imposing themselves on the people as leaders and disallow a free and fair process stopped, the country would not improve and there would be no development.
He condemned the wanton destruction of people’s property over election, saying it was not fair to burn the house of a citizen who had laboured all his life to build “simply because you don’t want him to come out and vote”.
Edited by Abdullahi Yusuf
Kogi polls: Wada votes, urges electorate to defend votes
Mr Musa Wada, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship candidate in the Kogi Governorship Election, has cast his vote with a call to the electorate to defend their votes.
Wada and his elder brothers, former Governor Idris Wada, and Dr Ibrahim Wada, cast their votes at Odu Ward 4, Unit 001, Odu-Ogboyaga in Dekina Local Government Area of the state at about 9:15 a.m.
Speaking shortly after casting his vote, the PDP governorship candidate urged the voters to stay tight and defend their votes, saying there was an attempt by “hooligans” to disrupt the exercise in one of the polling units earlier.
On the conduct of the polls, Wada said, “It looks peaceful for now”.
“I have advised the voters to stay tight to defend their votes very well. So much security locks down. Police everywhere, this is because Anyigba is very volatile.
“So,we advised that there should be proper security even at that, there were incidences of ballot box snatching.
On his expectation, Wada said, by God’s grace he would be the winner, saying “ no matter what they do. What will be, will be”.
The Polling Officer at the polling unit, Imokhuede Daniel, told Nigeria News Agency that the election was going on smoothly with accreditation and voting going on simultaneously.
“As it stands now, the only problem we have is that at one of the polling points, we have 2015 stamp, we have complained and it will be corrected although it will not have any effect because we will countersign with today’s date, ” Daniel said.
Edited by Abiemwense Moru and Abdullahi Yusuf
Kogi guber poll : Wada rounds off campaign, promises to banish poverty
Mr Musa Wada, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Saturday’s governorship election has promised to reduce poverty among the people, if elected the next governor of Kogi.
Wada who made the promise while addressing a large crowd of party members and supporters at a rally in Ayangba on Wednesday, said that he intended to achieve this through good governance.
He promised to lead with the fear of God, saying that the era of the state being in the news for bad reasons will come to an end.
The candidate thanked the people for coming out en masse for the rally, urging them to repeat same on Saturday at the various polling units in the state.
“Nobody gave you one naira to come here, you are here because of the interest, determination and desire to free yourselves and the entire people of the state, from maladministration, poverty, lack of salary payment and infrastructural decay that have characterised the state under the APC government.
“I want to assure you that your sacrifice to liberate Kogi State will not go unnoticed, because my first priority as governor, if Allah permits, will be total human and physical development, ” he said.
Wada also urged the voters not to be deterred by the ongoing threat of violence, intimidation and harassment by those he called hired political thugs, saying that they should come out to vote for him.
“I want to enter into covenant with you that I will not compromise in the implementation of my “Rescue Mission” agenda.
“I will review all the injustices done to you by the present APC government in Kogi State,” he assured.
Wada urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to allow peoples’ vote to count, and also called on the police and other security agencies to be professional in the discharge of their duties before, during and after the election.
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed
Kogi PDP primaries: Court fixes Nov. 27 to hear Idris’s suit against Wada
A High Court sitting in Lokoja on Wednesday fixed Nov. 27, to hear a suit filed by Abubakar Idris, a PDP Governorship aspirant challenging the emergence of Alhaji Musa Wada as the party’s flag bearer in the primaries.
Justice Richard Olorunfemi, fixed the date following an application by counsel to the first defendant (PDP), Kola Olowookere.
Olowookere told the court that the former counsel handling the case was indisposed.
He said the case was therefore handed over to him and that he needed time to obtain record of proceedings from the registry of the court to study it.
He stressed that for Justice and fair hearing to be dispensed to all parties enough time must be given for the trial judge to “hear all the hearable and see all the seeable”
But counsel to Abubakar Idris, Mr Rowland Otaru,SAN, objected to the plea for adjournment saying the counsel to the first defendant (PDP) did not need any extra time to study a case which had reached a defence level.
Otaru said the court must be mindful of the fact that the issue in contention which bordered on the Governorship election was just 11 days away and was of public interest. and urged the court to overrule the plea.
Counsel to Wada, Prof. Joas Amupitan, SAN, while supporting the plea for adjournment urged the court not to allow anybody to stampede it into taking decisions that might not be fair to all the parties.
Amupitan said the principle of Justice and fair hearing is a tripod issue that affects not only the claimant but both the defendant and even the court.
He said that since the case was a pre-election matter the court was constitutionally allowed to adjudicate in the matter within 180 days.
The counsel held that the court still had many days on its side and should therefore not allow itself to be rushed in a way that justice would be miscarried.
After hearing all the parties, Justice Olorunfemi in his ruling said nobody could pressurise or stampede him into doing anything outside the law.
He said he had read in social media insinuations made against him on possible side taking, adding that he remained undaunted because he had made a covenant with God not take bribe from anyone.
“I have made a covenant with my God precisely on May 18, 1999, that if I upturn Justice for any monetary gain or favour that God should remove me from where I am because my being a judge is by his Mercy”
The trial judge, in the ruling, granted the plea for adjournment saying that the court must not be made to “embark on neck breaking speed when there is still much time to hear all sides of the case.”
He added that for the principle of fair hearing and Justice to be given to all parties, no one should be deprived from being adequately heard.
He therefore adjourned the case to Nov 27, for defence.
NAN reports that Idris, son of former governor Ibrahim, had dragged Wada, who is his brother-in-law to court on the ground that he was not properly elected at the party’s primary on September 3, alleging that the process was disrupted by hoodlums towards the tail end of counting of ballots.
He therefore urged the court to disqualify Wada and declared him (Abubakar) as the winner of the party’s primary.
Edited by Remi Koleoso/Sadiya Hamza
Wada promises to revisit workers screening exercise in Kogi
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Nov. 16 governorship election in Kogi, Mr Musa Wada, has promised to review the screening exercise of workers conducted by the incumbent governor.
Wada also promised to review the screening of pensioners and local government workers with a view to ensure justice, saying that pensioners were not supposed to be afflicted with suffering at old age.
A statement issued in Lokoja on Friday by the Musa Wada Campaign Organisation said that the candidate made the promise while addressing rallies at Ankpa, Okpo and Abejukolo.
He described the screening exercise as lacking human face , saying that it had led to untimely death of many civil servants, pensioners and their relations.
” The endless screening exercise will be reviewed as many workers and pensioners were deliberately screeend out at all levels,” the statement signed by Mr Austin Okahi, a member of the media committee of the organisation, said.
Wada also decried the alleged non-payment of workers salary at the state and local government levels, describing the development as dangerous for the state economy.
He particularly sympathised with the local government workers across the state over non’payment of their salary for a long time.
The candidate also condemned the deplorable state of roads
in Ankpa and Abejukolo, promising to rebuild them if elected as governor
Wada chided Gov.Yahaya Bello for embarking on “window dressing development ,rather than genuine ones that will transform the lives of the people ” few days before election.
He warned the people of Olamaboro Local Government
not be decieved by the recent political abberation which made the area to produce the new deputy governor.
The candidate explained that indigenes of the state, irrespective of tribe and religion had rights to ascend to any top political offices without any condition attached.
” Remain supportive of the PDP and jettison the new political sherrifs known for coercion and violence to achieve high political pedestal,” he told the people.
Wada charged electorate in the state not to succumb to threat and intimidation from any quarters.
At Ankpa , Wada expressed shock that the ancient town known for its boisterous economic activities had become a ghost town.
He promised to restore the lost glory of Ankpa by creating more access roads and channelisation projects to control the lingering erosion problem that had made some areas to become swampy.
The candidate, however, urged the people to remain focus in their support for PDP and be ready to protect their votes on Nov. 16.
Edited by Kayode Olaitan
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